Venezuela agrees to exchange oil for food with Portugal
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates Tuesday in Caracas, where they signed several cooperation agreements including one to exchange Venezuelan oil for Portuguese goods including food, services and technology, dpa reported.
Meeting ahead of the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean summit set for Friday and Saturday in Lima, the two leaders signed 14 deals that seek to broaden economic relations between Venezuela and Portugal.
Chavez received fellow-leftist Socrates in his office for a two- hour private meeting.
"With the prime minister's visit, we can say that the time has come for relations between Portugal and Venezuela to be put at a high level by our peoples, by our governments - a level that matches the feeling of deep brotherhood between our peoples," Chavez said.
Socrates asked Chavez to protect the interests of the 600,000 Portuguese citizens living in Venezuela as he does those of locals.
According to the deal, Venezuela is set to send to Portugal 10,000 barrels of oil per day, expected to increase to 30,000 by the end of the year.
Chavez explained that those 30,000 barrels of oil would have a market value of close to 1 billion dollars at current prices, and that Portugal will be able to pay for them in kind, with technology, medicine, and other goods and services including 5,000 tonnes of powdered milk and 21,000 tonnes of soya oil.
Socrates was also set to meet with members of the Portuguese-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce and with representatives of the Portuguese community in the South American country.